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Hunty’s Column: Forest Memories

It’s dark days at the moment, but Hunty remembers when everything was a lot brighter.

Reading v Nottingham Forest - npower Championship Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Happy Halloween!

Our club is currently providing us with a right horror show, complete with lots of blood, but thankfully Tiago Ilori & Liam Moore are both ok. However, it feels like the team and our manager are currently on life support.

Last season was a very bright light, compared to the dark and dismal days of previous seasons. Further back, our promotions to the promised land seem like just a blur.

Now we are back in that dark place again, it's bloody horrible.

But who or what do I blame? Is it the players, management, owners, crap beer or pie sellers? No. In an exclusive for The Tilehurst End, the man I blame is: me.

I moved from Australia to Ireland in that Premier League season when Brian McDermott was in charge. I thought it was my time to bask in our glory, as I was in Oz for Reading’s previous spell in the Promised Land.

I even watched us stuff a 4-0 lead over Arsenal in the League Cup - I should have taken that as a hint to bugger off!

But then again, I was there at the Mad Stad when we came from two down to beat West Brom, so I remained positive. The rest, as they say, is history.

So why did it end up like this?

I came over from Oz for a family visit with my little Royals fan Lily Anna. Arriving on the day we best West Ham 4-2, I was jet lagged as hell. I remember getting smashed on Guinness watching the highlights.

Exploring Ireland later on, whilst being introduced to Irish rebel songs in Glendalough by an in-law, I was a bit scared. But then, Ian Harte scored the winner against Brighton that night, and Feds produced some magic to see us over the line - happy days!

We kept on winning! I followed the 2-0 triumph over Leeds United, with Alfie scoring twice, at a family birthday. For Southampton away, I went absolutely nuts in Temple bar.

Which brings me to Forest - the same team we play this Tuesday night - again under the floodlights.

Five and a half years ago, I flew over for that Tuesday night match when Ledge scored the winner and the whole town went totally bonkers.

It was amazing to see my hometown club make it to the Promised Land! The togetherness of the guys on the pitch, the fans and Sir John really was something special.

Then came a trip to the Purple Turtle and a Russian bloke. Later, the Palace game on the Saturday that would ultimately win us the title, and the aftermath at the Walkabout in Reading.

I met some amazing people back then, and I’m glad to say that I’m still friends with them now.

So, another Tuesday night game sees us playing Forest at the Madejski Stadium again. We ain’t winning the league this time, but let’s recreate that spirit and noise to back Jaap Stam and the boys.

The team needs us all. Urzzzz!